Cholelithiasis. Clinical characteristics in children. Case analysis and literature review

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1989 Jul;28(7):294-8. doi: 10.1177/000992288902800701.


Thirty-five cases of cholelithiasis diagnosed at a children's hospital over a 7.5-year period are reviewed and compared to 693 cases of pediatric gallstones reported in the literature. Symptomatology and associated medical history are more important in diagnosing cholelithiasis than are laboratory tests. Hemolytic disease is the most common associated condition in our series (46%) as well as in the literature (30%), but the frequency of the various associated conditions varies with age. Isolated gallstone disease does occur, particularly in the young infant. Jaundice is the most common symptom in children less than 1 year of age, being present in greater than 90 percent of symptomatic patients previously reported. Overall, the most common symptom in our series is vomiting (60%). Right upper quadrant pain in the absence of vomiting does not appear to be significant, as this occurred in only one patient (3%) in our series.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adolescent
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / complications
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholelithiasis* / complications
  • Cholelithiasis* / diagnosis
  • Erythroblastosis, Fetal / complications
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Jaundice / etiology
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Vomiting / etiology